Lower Elementary (1st – 3rd grades):
At your site classroom, make copies (with the teacher’s permission) of children’s written work using algorithms to solve problems. Identify the errors made and any patterns in those errors. Discuss what you might do if you were their teacher to enhance the children’s understanding.
Continuing my work with Jassiellyz and Anthony, we started to look at addition within 1,000. The students in Mrs. Cook’s class have only gone up to 100 so I knew I was going to need to help them. Jassiellyz noticed again that she had to break the problem down (327 + 612) in order to get a final answer. The worksheet had already provided the students with the hundreds, tens, and ones addition problems making it clear of what was expected within the rest of the sheet. For the second problem (632 + 541) I assisted Jassiellyz showing her how to break apart 600 + 500, 30 + 40, and then 2 + 1. For the last two problems on the bottom Jassiellyz decided to complete the problems on her own. The concept of breaking down the hundreds place was new to them so I anticipated mistakes. I noted that instead of working from top down, Jassiellyz preferred to work bottom up (200 + 700 instead of 700 + 200) which was fine for addition, however I pointed out that it would be different for subtraction. This allowed me to further explain to Jassiellyz the difference between addition and subtraction and how important steps are when solving a problem.
Anthony needed more attention than Jassiellyz on the worksheet and had a tough time breaking the problem down on his own. He understood that 600+ 500 was 1,100 (he even said eleven hundred out loud) but when I said that was the same thing as one thousand one hundred he looked confused. I told him we could move onto the next problem which he seemed to understand much better not having to work with the thousands place.
To enhance both Jassiellyz and Anthony’s learning I definitely realized the concept of the hundreds place must be understood to a greater extent before solving problems like these. I would also restate the importance of paying attention to steps and procedures!